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Ex-MI6 chief warns UK is under an ‘aggressive’ threat from China

by Peter Smyth Tech Journalist

The former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove has warned of an “aggressive step” from China and the UK is under threat from a cyber-attack.

China has been developing new technology that could lead to an attack like what was seen in Australia last month.

Speaking to Sky News Sophie Ridge programme he detailed how China could launch a cyber-attack on the UK, and said that China’s President Xi Jinping would deny the attack.

Sir Richard was asked by Ridge, “The Mail on Sunday is reporting that there are fears among ministers that China could launch a cyber-attack on the UK similar to one believed to have happened in Australia recently. How much of a threat do you think that is?”

Sir Richard replied, “It’s a very aggressive step for the Chinese to take at this point in time.

“I wonder if they would go that far at the moment, but it is a threat.

“They have significant capability in this area, and they can probably do it in a manner where we’ll know who the culprit is, they can say deny it.

“Of course, it’s a threat. We’ve known quite significantly that China have developed this capability and are prepared to use it.”

Last month, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government and institutions are being targeted with ongoing “sophisticated” cyber-attacks.

The cyber-attacks have hit “all levels of government” including essential services and businesses, but Morrison declined to say which state actor, despite it being obvious it was China.

The attacks happened over many months and were increasing, but no major personal data breaches have been made, Morrison confirmed at the time.

Prior to this, China launched sustained cyber-attacks against India’s banking systems and government websites.

The Indian government said that they were hit with series of DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks.

The DDOS attacks are aimed to overwhelm networks as they are flooded with artificially created traffic which can crash websites and the financial systems.

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